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The soundtrack of today’s afternoon session was groans and thuds as coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings had their first padded practice of camp. It was their first time in pads since the playoff loss to the Seahawks. Even though temperatures were in the...

John Sullivan gets a ride, Blair Walsh perfect in first camp practice in pads

The soundtrack of today’s afternoon session was groans and thuds as coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings had their first padded practice of camp. It was their first time in pads since the playoff loss to the Seahawks. Even though temperatures were in the...

John Sullivan gets a ride, Blair Walsh perfect in first camp practice in pads

The soundtrack of today’s afternoon session was groans and thuds as coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings had their first padded practice of camp. It was their first time in pads since the playoff loss to the Seahawks. Even though temperatures were in the low 80s, the scorching sun was unrelenting until the steady breeze finally blew in some welcome cloud cover.

WORKING OUT THE KINKS: Zimmer’s defense won this day, in large part due to his defensive line, which could be one of the NFL’s best this season. The front four often got a jump on an offensive line that is being shuffled daily. The Vikings continue to rotate at center and right tackle when their first-team offense is on the field. Today, it was John Sullivan and Andre Smith at those positions, respectively, not Joe Berger and T.J. Clemmings.

WELCOME BACK, SULLY: This was Sullivan’s first practice in pads since twice undergoing back surgery in 2015. Stud nose tackle Linval Joseph welcomed him back by blowing him off the ball during a 1-on-1 pass-rush rep. Joseph got under Sullivan’s pads right away and took him for a ride. Going up against Joseph every day should help Sullivan knock the rust off.

GOOD START FOR WALSH: With the bleachers packed with purple-clad fans, kicker Blair Walsh received his first camp kicks in team drills Sunday. He made the crowd happy and perhaps a little relieved, too, by splitting the uprights with all eight of his field-goal attempts, which ranged from 29 to 41 yards. Walsh was punishing those balls with his right foot, too.

A GOPHER AND A BADGER WALK INTO A HUDDLE…: Rookie quarterback Joel Stave probably has the strongest arm on the team, but during the first three days of camp the former Wisconsin Badger’s aim has been scattershot. He did produce one of Sunday’s highlights, though, when he connected with former Gophers wide receiver Isaac Fruechte on a deep ball down the right sideline. That throw was wobbly, but it was on the money as Fruechte beat cornerback Melvin White for a long touchdown.

CAPTAIN’S JUGGLING ACT: Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn made a crazy interception during 1-on-1 drills between the defensive backs and wide receivers. On a deep ball intended for Charles Johnson, Munnerlyn tipped the pass off of Johnson’s facemask. The ball then caromed back toward the corner, who batted it up a couple of times to keep it alive before securing the interception. Johnson couldn’t help but laugh about that.

SWEET PICK, SENDEJO: One of the many defensive highlights came when safety Andrew Sendejo, who got most of the first-team reps again today, intercepted quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on a 3rd-and-5 play. Sendejo dove to pick off the errant pass and rolled to his feet for a return attempt.

CAMP CHATTER: “Adam is a guy who plays with a chip on his shoulder. I asked him in the locker room the other day how many stars he had coming out of high school, and he said he had ‘NR’ next to his name.” — Bridgewater on wide receiver and Mankato fan favorite Adam Thielen.

INJURY REPORT: With his hamstring still bothering him and the Vikings in pads, running back Adrian Peterson did not practice. … Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who injured his left shoulder Friday, was sidelined, too. … Also sitting out were guard Mike Harris, linebacker Jason Whittingham, tight end Rhett Ellison, quarterback Taylor Heinicke and cornerback Keith Baxter. Zimmer said Baxter, who was lost spotted at Friday’s morning walkthrough, has been hospitalized but did not provide any more details. After practice, the team announced they have waived Baxter and Whittingham. … Wide receiver Stefon Diggs was back after sitting out the second half of Saturday’s practice. … Nose tackle Kenrick Ellis was activated from the PUP list today and practiced with the third-team D.

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